SHIPOWNER AND MERCHANT
A MERCHANT, manufacturer, or agent seeking business over-
seas must use the sea as a means of transport.
His business development depends upon the cheapness
of the cost of transportation, coupled with a reliable and
regular service. A comparison of railway rates and coastal
transport rates shows a big difference in cost in dealing
with home trade.
When by the addition of a few shillings on the total cost
of transportation a market is lost it is the duty of the
shipper to secure the cheapest method of transportation.
Sea carrying is in many trades divided into two sections,
viz. mail steamers, and slow steamers, and a small increase
in rate is sometimes made for carriage of goods by the
faster vessel. For a steady supply to markets the merchant
may take advantage of the smaller cost, or when necessity
demands the speedy arrival of the goods at their destina-
tion, then he may resort to the faster vessels at a small
Merchants who deal in ftinall shipments avail themselves
of the regular advertised lines which receive cargo on the
berth and maintain weekly or fortnightly services. If,
however, the merchant is a dealer in large quantity ship-
ments then he has the option of chartering a vessel for his
own use. Here the comparison between tariff rates and
chartered rates shows that the chartered vessel is the
cheapest means of transport for bulk cargoes. The ship-
owner is assured of his earnings, has less trouble in the
management of the business, but meets with strict opposi-
tion from all other chartering brokers and owners. Con-
sequently chartered rates are competitive and fluctuate
from high rates when tonnage is scarce to low rates when
tonnage is idle.
Transportation by air has in recent years increased